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Has the Strength of "Unbeatable" Trainers been reduced by the Anime in Recent Times?

Dynamic_Fusion

HIKARI HYPE
Do you think the so-called "Unbeatable" Trainers like Elite 4 Members, Champions and other "Strong" Characters in the Anime have had a reduction in Power Level ever since the XY Series? Or do you think that the Main Cast Characters have simply gotten stronger. Ever since the XY Series we have seen Elite 4 Members & Champions getting pushed back or either defeated by normal trainers or trainers who never showed intention of becoming a Champion becoming one (Alain Vs Malva, Ash Vs Diantha, Ash becoming Alola League Champion, Iris becoming Champion of Isshu; Ash Vs Iris). Before XY, these guys were portrayed as untouchable beings ex: Cynthia Vs Paul, Alder Vs Trip, Ash Vs Drake (Hoenn), Ash Vs Agatha. that its hard to imagine for me that all of a sudden they could be beaten or pushed back. What are your thoughts?
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
It does seem to be among the floodgates opened or at least creaked wide just a teeny bit.

I mean I suppose it makes sense. In earlier seasons, they were largely a greater scope to a goal the kids were never gonna actually break through to in present day. Now they want the protagonists to actually make some bigger breakthroughs (something Ash would realistically do after seven regions worth of training with a lot of others having similar time) and so previous obstacles start to seem more reachable.
 

Mew29240

Well-Known Member
I'd say it's combination of the two. E4 and Champions were only meant to appear unbeatable because Ash, our main POV into competitive battling, wasn't meant to win against them, only holding his own for a little bit or impressing them.

XY wanted to show that he's good enough (then) to pressure a Champion's ace Pokemon (even if Diantha was only testing Greninja and wasn't seriously fighting) and pose a serious challenge against a guy who beat an E4's ace Pokemon after fighting through 9 other Mega Evolution trainers with little time in between for breaks/recovery.

Journeys is pushing that bar even further now by slating him to challenge what's supposed to be the strongest trainer in the world. For him to get that there, he needs to be one step down from the absolute top to pose a decent challenge. They can't let those same E4/Champions maintain their invincibility if they want Ash to battle Leon and make appear like he earned it.
 

lolipiece

Oshiete. my teacher!
Staff member
Moderator
Every single mainline Pokemon game features the regional Champion being defeated by a child. Hell, B2W2 features a child as its Champ. I've never liked the anime's constant portrayal of Champs as untouchable gods for that reason. They just need to be strong, not invincible.
 

RafaSceptile

Well-Known Member
Not at all, the reason why recent "unbeatable" trainers seems weaker than before is because Ash is getting stronger over the years and because of that, his power level should be similar to those trainers, especially in Journeys were he is ranked as 99th in the world.
 

Pokemonfan5

Well-Known Member
I think this happening from XY and onwards because every series (except BW) Ash was getting stronger and stronger from past series, Ash at the end of BF beat brandon who is called E4 level, he get more powerful at the end of DP, in XY he become strong enough to beat any E4 and in SM he reach Champion level just like Steven-Diantha.

Now because Ash is also regional champion in JN so he is also taking other Champions head on.
 

Jiranaphy

Member
I'd say this trend even started in BW with Cynthia's Garchomp being harshly nerfed, especially :
- Garchomp getting completely smashed by the Kami Trio, while the guy actually stood up to Dialga and Palkia in DP (I think it also nullified one of their signature moves)
- Iris' baby Axew landing a hit on Garchomp with a newly learned Giga Impact and actually damaging it in the process.

XY and SM pushed it further though (with what you said about Alain and Kahunas implied to be E4 level and all)
 
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AuraChannelerChris

Disappearing isn't that bad, actually.
The Worf Effect in effect.

Want to hype up a brand new ultra mega cool thing? Make 'em almost trounce these unbeatable walls.
 

Pokemonfan5

Well-Known Member
I'd say this trend even started in BW with Cynthia's Garchomp being harshly nerfed, especially :
- Garchomp getting completely smashed by the Kami Trio, while the guy actually stood up to Dialga and Palkia in DP (I think it also nullified one of their signature moves)
- Iris' baby Axew landing a hit on Garchomp with a newly learned Giga Impact and actually damaging it in the process.

XY and SM pushed it further though (with what you said about Alain and Kahunas implied to be E4 level and all)
I don't think she was nerfed, those forces of nature is Legendaries not some regular Pokemon and Axew attack was complete surprise for Garchomp so he wasn't prepared and still didn't take any noticeable damage.
As for Palkia it was under control so far far from full power like in team plasma colress said Reshiram is far more powerful than he was under his control, Brock's croagunk was also able to stop Dialga's Draco meteor with brick break.

Island Kahuna are gym leader level in anime like they're in games during grand trials
 

Shadao

Champion GETTO DA ZE!
Here's the best way to summarize what was going on, from the film Hook:

Peter Pan: I remember you being a lot bigger.
Captain Hook: To a ten-year-old I'm huge.

When Ash was starting out, the Elite Four and Champion were simply untouchable and rightfully titled Elite. You can't scratch them, much less beat them in any match. They serve as a reminder that you have a long way to go before you can call yourself a Pokémon Master.

But that's the irony. A long way to go is precisely what Ash went through. Over 20 years of travelling and training can certainly change a person and while Ash seems to remain a 10-year old, his experience and character has clearly grown beyond his immature, rookie days. And because he has grown in that area, the seemingly unreachable heights of the Elite Four becomes more reachable with every passing day. You can actually see it when he battled the Battle Frontier, when he fought Legendaries and Mythicals with his regular Pokémon and won. Legendaries were no longer god-like. They can be beaten. Within 10 years, Ash began to enjoy long win streaks and was able to push a Champion back and take the battle more seriously. Come next series, Ash won the Pokémon League and ensured that he left Alola as the undefeated Champion (which is surprising to say the least, even if you bet that he would win the League).

So naturally, Elite Four and Champions are feasible opponents rather than impossible hurdles for Ash. And if you're not convinced yet, look at his team now. His Journeys team is no longer a basic starter kit, but a collection of heavy hitters and skilled fighters you would see in a real meta-gaming competition (except Pikachu, but he is an exception to the rule).
 

Epicocity

Well-Known Member
While I agree with the fact that Ash has gotten stronger, and thus they do not seem as insurmountable as they once did, there is something to be said for the current era definitely not holding to the last. By which I mean the strategies employed by these upper level trainers remain fairly basic in spite of their status and the battles don't seem to depict that skill level. Even Leon vs. Lance, which was big on spectacle, was a pretty straightforward brawl.

Likewise, you have things like the Iris battle where Ash was the one pulling out the biggest technique in the battle with Hurricane to Draco Meteor rather than Iris, the Champion, really showcasing the strength of her station and what it took to reach it.

I do think there's a way to show how strong these trainers are through their skill level without making a battle a curbstomp, Alain vs. Malva was the good start of it, which continued into his battle with Ash, but thanks to the overemphasis on commentary these days that had begun being curbed, or just the tendency to stop the battle for a conversation, this kind of skill isn't portrayed in favor of a straight fight of "who hits harder?".

So, I'd say the answer is a very complicated yes and no.
 

Morax

Sniper king
While I agree with the fact that Ash has gotten stronger, and thus they do not seem as insurmountable as they once did, there is something to be said for the current era definitely not holding to the last. By which I mean the strategies employed by these upper level trainers remain fairly basic in spite of their status and the battles don't seem to depict that skill level. Even Leon vs. Lance, which was big on spectacle, was a pretty straightforward brawl.

Likewise, you have things like the Iris battle where Ash was the one pulling out the biggest technique in the battle with Hurricane to Draco Meteor rather than Iris, the Champion, really showcasing the strength of her station and what it took to reach it.

I do think there's a way to show how strong these trainers are through their skill level without making a battle a curbstomp, Alain vs. Malva was the good start of it, which continued into his battle with Ash, but thanks to the overemphasis on commentary these days that had begun being curbed, or just the tendency to stop the battle for a conversation, this kind of skill isn't portrayed in favor of a straight fight of "who hits harder?".

So, I'd say the answer is a very complicated yes and no.
I think the anime in general has given up on strategic battles. I mean look at Ash vs Kukui, it's supposed to be a champion fight but has less strategy than Ash vs Paul (a mere league match). Nowadays it's all about punch harder to win.
 

Pokemonfan5

Well-Known Member
I think the anime in general has given up on strategic battles. I mean look at Ash vs Kukui, it's supposed to be a champion fight but has less strategy than Ash vs Paul (a mere league match). Nowadays it's all about punch harder to win.
What are you talking about less strategy? There are many strategies and constant switching shown in Ash Vs Kukui, like Ash using Electro web against Tapu Koko to cancel his Nature madness attack and second time trap Tapu Koko to score a hit, there is many more before in previous battles.

There are many occasions in XY and SM where Ash use amazing strategies like DP days.

Also Ash Vs Paul isn't just a mere league battle, it was the most important rival battle for Ash til date
 
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SerGoldenhandtheJust

Best girl Dawn, Infernape/Ash/Paul, Alolan fam <3
I think the anime in general has given up on strategic battles. I mean look at Ash vs Kukui, it's supposed to be a champion fight but has less strategy than Ash vs Paul (a mere league match). Nowadays it's all about punch harder to win.
????? No battle has as much strategies as Ash Vs Paul lmao, that series is remembered for having so many strategies
BW XY SM and even JN has the same amount of strategies in their battles
It's all upto the writing of battles not being focused on strategies anymore
Plus DP battles don't hold up animation wise so strategy is imp for them

Also as for this thread, yes they are no longer unbeatable and THATS HOW IT SHOULD BE. We are far into the series, we need Ash to actually defeat them now
 

Morax

Sniper king
No battle has as much strategies as Ash Vs Paul lmao
Yes, and that's the problem. Instead of trying to one-up that battle and go beyond they stopped trying. Are you suggesting that it's okay for a show to not improve itself?
Also Ash Vs Paul isn't just a mere league battle, it was the most important rival battle for Ash til date
That's an exaggeration. The most important battle for ash would be vs Leon but that's another story. The point is that everything that came after Ash vs Paul pales in comparison to it ( strictly speaking of strategies, mind you ).
 

Pokemonfan5

Well-Known Member
Yes, and that's the problem. Instead of trying to one-up that battle and go beyond they stopped trying. Are you suggesting that it's okay for a show to not improve itself?

That's an exaggeration. The most important battle for ash would be vs Leon but that's another story. The point is that everything that came after Ash vs Paul pales in comparison to it ( strictly speaking of strategies, mind you ).
I'm talking about rival battles, Ash Vs Paul is still the most important battle for Ash in that regard, more than Gary, Sawyer and Gladion.

Ash had use many amazing strategies even after DP which can rival Ash Vs Paul.
 

SerGoldenhandtheJust

Best girl Dawn, Infernape/Ash/Paul, Alolan fam <3
Yes, and that's the problem. Instead of trying to one-up that battle and go beyond they stopped trying. Are you suggesting that it's okay for a show to not improve itself?
I'm saying that it's the only battle that has strategies so trying to pull down another fight coz if it is pretty dumb considering all fights are like that. As I stated, clearly their priorities have changed in the writing room regarding the strategies
 

Morax

Sniper king
I'm saying that it's the only battle that has strategies so trying to pull down another fight coz if it is pretty dumb considering all fights are like that. As I stated, clearly their priorities have changed in the writing room regarding the strategies
So it's okay for battles to not be as strategic as they used to? That's the dumbest excuse for lazy writing i've ever heard.

>priorities have changed
Imagine defending this change.
 

JustAStatistic

Super Casual Trainer
IMO, it's a combination of both Ash getting stronger and the Champion tier being soft retconned.

Basically, imagine if Charizard returned mid-DP (back when it was Ash's undisputed strongest) and Ash used him against Cynthia's Garchomp. It sounds pretty reasonable to think that Charizard would get a few good hits in, perform better than Paul's entire attempt, but would ultimately fall to Garchomp.

If Ash's Charizard vs Cynthia's Garchomp happened in Journeys, there's absolutely no way that the writers would let one of Ash's most profitable powerhouses lose the same way they would have back in the DP days. Especially not after promoting Iris to Champion and having Ash defeat her with a pair of (relatively) freshly caught Pokémon.
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
Much like stuff like catching mythical/legendary Pokemon and actual goal winning, I think the jarring quality to it comes simply from the fact that the show had a REALLY long slump of being unwilling to break any trends and maintaining these elements as strictly off grounds, when suddenly it's started breaking them in rather quick succession.
 
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